Victims lose millions in 'guaranteed' investment

Published On: Jan 11 2014 09:27:06 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 11 2014 09:30:00 AM EST

A warning for all investors from U.S. Postal Inspectors. They point to a case where individuals were told about a deal that was "guaranteed" to make money, but in reality it was all a scam.

“The victims were enraged. They were upset because they trusted him and they thought he was actually making the trades and investing the money in what he promised them,” explained U.S. Postal Inspector Lisa Cummings.

Cummings is talking about Robert Tringham, who promised investors he would deposit their money into an account and the funds would be used as leverage to buy bonds at a discounted rate.

"The whole business was a fraud, the trades actually never took place. In reality, their money was pulled into one central account, and he used the money to purchase a home, diamond bar, and luxury vehicle," said Cummings.

Specifically a luxury home in a gated community, and a land rover for his girlfriend.  15 victims lost $8 million.

"The victims lost a lot of money. They trusted him and they were deceived by him," Cummings added.

Some advice from postal inspectors: Thoroughly check out the person you're trusting with your hard-earned money, before you invest.

"Even if you had Googled his name, he was previously convicted in the U.K. for forgery and deception, so he had a criminal history prior to starting up this scheme in the U.S.," said Cummings

Meantime, Robert Tringham was sentenced to 13 years for mail fraud, wire fraud and destruction/falsification of records. He was ordered to pay more than $2 million dollars in restitution.

The Financial Fraud Task Force has additional resources on how to protect yourself, questions to ask and ways to report suspected fraud. Go to stopfraud.gov.